Of all the lies our society tells itself, the greatest must be the notion of the true “individual.” We are taught to believe we are in control of who we are — our likes, tastes, wants, and assumptions aren’t because of any outside influence but because we desire them. All on our own. And nobody told us that.
First, every human being inherits language from their community, and language is what shapes our perception of reality. Beyond that 1 we are constantly bombarded with community messages which tell us how to behave, think, and dress. Advertising is an easy origin point to spot for these messages, but peer pressure is every bit as manipulative as any ad campaign.
The truth is, human beings are pack animals. We need to belong to a group, and tend to view those who are not part of “us” with hostility. This is why societal manipulations are so effective. From political affiliation, all the way down to preferred fandoms, human beings crave knowing they are part of some group 2.
More than that, I believe human beings who share pack affiliations, or who share pack members in common, must be psychically connected. I say this because I could be sitting in silence for hours on end, but when one person seeks me out it seems that ten other people have the same impulse at nearly the same time. It’s so much fun when my wife or kids speak my name and suddenly my phone rings, slack buzzes, and twelve different text messages appear wondering what I’m doing.